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The passing of Professor John Harries

6 January 2023

The Society is sad to hear of the passing of former Royal Meteorological Society President, Professor John Harries FRMetS.

President of the Society from 1994 – 1996, Professor Harries was also Wales’ first Chief Scientific Adviser (2010-2013) and led the team that produced the first direct observational evidence of an increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect between 1970 and 1997.

An Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Research Fellow at Imperial College, Professor Harries was also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Geophysical Union, Aberystwyth University and a member of the American Meteorological Society. He also served as Chair of the European Space Agency’s Earth Observation Programme Board, and in 2011 he was awarded NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal and, in 2014, the Mason Gold Medal of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Among his many achievements is the first measurement of the atmosphere in the very far infra-red part of the light spectrum. He led many large projects, for example, bringing together 200 atmospheric science and space technology researchers at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and building a world-leading research group at Imperial College at the core of international projects such as the Meteosat satellite launched in 2002.

A full obituary for John will be published in the RMetS Weather journal in the coming months.

He passed away on 21 December after a short illness. A funeral service will take place at 11:00am on Wednesday, 11 January, at St Padarn’s Church, Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth SY23 3SE. Anyone who wishes to attend, please get in touch with the Society so we can inform the family of anticipated numbers. info@rmets.org or 0118 2080 142.